By James Hibberd
Updated January 31, 2013 at 06:26 PM EST
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CBS trounced original comedies on NBC and ABC by airing commercials Wednesday night.

The network’s annual special, Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials, had 9.9 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 5 percent from last year, nearly winning 8 p.m. outright if not for a certain Fox singing competition.

Especially in this era of ad-skipping DVRs, isn’t this dream programming for a network? A show full of commercials, with commercials, that beats the competition.

Meanwhile, let’s check in on American Idol. Shaking up a reality show panel is a bit like performing a major organ transplant. There’s this tense period for a few days after the operation while doctors wait and see if the patient’s immune system will accept the foreign matter or acutely reject the new organ. Fox put Idol‘s judging panel under the knife for Season 12. So far, fans aren’t outright rejecting Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban.

Now in Week 3, American Idol delivered 15.6 million viewers and a 5.4 rating among adults 18-49 on Wednesday night. That’s only down a tenth from last week’s rating in these early numbers. Is Idol pacing as its lowest-rated regular season yet? Sure, that’s expected. But viewers aren’t exactly fleeing from Minaj’s wigs. Overall, Idol isn’t dropping week-to-week as much as last year.

The rest of broadcast had grimmer news.

With ABC airing half-originals, half-repeats, ABC’s The Neighbors was down 20 percent to match its season low and Suburgatory was down 18 percent to tie its series low. NBC’s Whitney was down 7 percent, Guys With Kids was down 15 percent to tie its season low, SVU was down 19 percent and Chicago Fire was down 9 percent. The CW’s Arrow was down 18 percent, though Supernatural was steady.

Full Chart:

ADULT DEMO RANK

ADULTS 18-49 RATING

TOTAL VIEWERS (+000)

FOX

8-10P

AMERICAN IDOL

#1

5.4

15,593

ABC

8:00P

MIDDLE

R

#10t

1.3

5,517

8:30P

NEIGHBORS

#7t

1.6

5,249

9:00P

MODERN FAMILY

R

#2t

2.1

6,165

9:30P

SUBURGATORY

#5

1.8

4,868

10-11P

NASHVILLE

R

#13t

0.9

3,000

CBS

8-9P

SUPER BOWL ADS

S

#2t

2.1

9,866

9-10P

CRIMINAL MINDS

R

#7t

1.6

7,175

10-11P

CSI

R

#7t

1.6

7,174

NBC

8:00P

WHITNEY

#10t

1.3

3,585

8:30P

GUYS KIDS

#12

1.1

2,895

9-10P

LAW&O:SVU

#6

1.7

6,366

10-11P

CHICAGO FIRE

#4

2.0

7,225

CW

8-9P

ARROW

#13t

0.9

2,996

9-10P

SUPRNATURAL

#13t

0.9

2,281

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